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15 Aug 2014

Casey Hynes, Asian Correspondent

Thailand: Intl. rights groups back labour activist facing trial, say case limits rights defenders trying to expose abuses

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“International rights groups back labor activist ahead of Thailand trial”, 13 August 2014

Members of the international human rights community have affirmed their support for labor activist Andy Hall, who will face trial in Thailand…Nearly 100 organizations submitted a joint letter to the Thai Pineapple Industry Association (TPIA)…insisting that criminal and civil suits brought against Hall by the Natural Fruit company be dropped…Hall, a longtime labor rights activist, faces several suits related to research he conducted on worker conditions at several factories in Thailand…[According to] Bobbie Sta. Maria, Southeast Asia researcher and representative for Business & Human Rights Resource Centre. “Some very important rights are at stake in this case.” Hall’s case indicates deeper issues in the reporting system, Sta. Maria said. The fact that companies can bring their considerable resources to bear when silencing activists is troubling…“The kind of work [human rights defenders]…do is very important to exposing human rights violations. [The case] affects the amount of information that comes out about the situation of migrant workers"…